AFC Youth Player of the Year (Men): Mohanad Abdulraheem
Kuala Lumpur: Mohanad Abdulraheem Karrar has been named the men's AFC Youth Player of the Year following his MVP winning performance at the AFC U-19 Championship.
The inspirational Iraq star put in a succession of stellar performances throughout the tournament in the UAE as his side finished runners-up to Korea Republic following a penalty shootout defeat in the final.
Abdulraheem scored 35 minutes into the Saturday's showdown and just as it was looking like his fifth of the campaign was enough to give Iraq the title Moon Chang-jin forced extra-time with the equaliser three minutes into stoppage-time at the end of the second half.
Extra-time finished goalless and the Koreans went on to win the penalty shootout 4-1, with Abdulraheem seeing his spot-kick saved by Lee Chang-guen in what was an unfortunate end to what had been an otherwise outstanding campaign for the talented forward.
"It is a big honour for me to win this prestigious award and it will always be in my memory, encouraging me do better in the future," Abdulraheem said after receiving the men's AFC Youth Player of the Year award from AFC Executive Committee Member Zaw Zaw, who is also the Chairman of the Organising Committee for AFC Youth Competitions.
"It has been a good year for me and the team as we had a very successful AFC U-19 Championship campaign," Abdulraheem continued.
"I couldn't believe it when we landed back in Iraq there were hundreds of fans there to meet us at the airport."
"I am still young and there is still a lot to learn and areas that I need to improve.
"Winning this award will get me attention from other clubs...maybe even clubs outside Asia. I wouldn't mind the chance to play outside Asia.
"It was a good year for me as well as my team as we had a successful AFC U-19 Championship campaign. I could not believe it when we landed in Iraq and there were hundreds of football fans queuing up to receive us at the airport."